HADOUKEN! Q&A: “WE’RE LUCKY TO STILL BE GOING 7 YEARS LATER”

hadouken_webhighAs you all know we at Fame love to bring you our loyal readers up close and personal with artists who are primed and ready to set the entertainment world alight.

This is something we love to do and will continue to do so. But there are times where we are amazed about just how much an artist can do to elevate themselves to the next level.

One such band are the UK’s own Hadouken!, they have recently seen their viral video for new single ‘Levitate’ notch up over 23 million views and that grows daily.

The single is charting across the globe and that success alongside the release of the bands third album ‘Every Weekend’ (out now). Here are highlights from our interview with Hadouken!.

Hi guys may we start off by asking you where the band name ‘Hadouken!’ came from?

It’s taken from the game Street Fighter. It’s a special move you can do with the characters Ryu and Ken. We liked the game as kids and just thought it sounded good as a band name.

Cool, next up if you had ten words to describe your music to a potential fan what would they be?

Dance music to start circles pits to. Lots of bass.

Wonderful, evidently a huge amount of people have seen the video for your new single ‘Levitate’. How does it feel to know the video has had such a level of positive response?

It’s awesome, we’re completely blown away by the response. The video has been featured on a lot of major news sites and blogs, so it has introduced our music to a whole load of new listeners.

The single has been one of our most successful so far so it’s really exciting to be picking up some new fans.hadouken_everyweekendSo may we ask you how the band formed?

James, Alice & I met at Leeds University back in 2004. James had produced tracks in various strains of dance music but when he started incorporating guitars and other live elements together he decided to put a band together to play it live.

I asked my brother Nick to join us on drums and he in turn asked his mate from college, Chris, to play bass. We put our first few tracks on myspace, started playing a few gigs in Leeds and London and went from there. It’s still the same line up today.HADOUKEN1What was the dream back then. Had you any long term career plans in place for the band?

We didn’t have any specific plans but we were always ambitious and wanted as many people as possible to hear our band, but we always thought the best way to achieve that was just to make the best music we could, put on the best lives shows we could and have fun with it.

It seems to have done us well so far. We’re lucky to still be going 7 years later, having made a third album, a lot of bands don’t last that long.

The video for ‘Levitate’ is evidently an addictive one (the feats on show are amazing), how did you come up with the concept for it?

We actually made a similar video, also called People Are Awesome, back in 2010 for our single Mecha Love. There’s a lot of hanging around on tour in dressing rooms and tour buses and we often find ourselves trawling through youtube looking at random videos to kill time.

We noticed that most of the classic youtube hits have only 5-10 seconds of footage you actually want to see in them and a couple of minutes of gratuitous stuff either side. I thought it would be fun to chop all the best bits together in a super quick edit, just showing those key moments and cutting all the fat out.

It was really just for our own entertainment and to share with our fans. When that video gained a few million views we realised we were actually gaining a lot of new fans who had discovered us through the video and that this could be an innovative way to get our music out there.

We are an independent band without the big marketing budget of a major label so we have to think outside the box a little to get our music heard and making more videos like this seemed like a fun way to do it.

You have played America a few times we hear, but have yet to secure the backing of a label there. Do you hope the immense success of the ‘Levitate’ video will lead to that?

Maybe, we’re certainly open to working with a label if the right one comes along, but we’re not obsessed with ‘getting signed.’

We’ve achieved a lot independently in other parts of the world and we’ve enjoyed having the control and the freedom that comes with that.

Thankfully with the way everyone is online now we can take our music direct to fans via videos like the one mentioned above, and we don’t necessarily need a label to market it.

Whilst I am on the subject of your work what can you tell our readers about your upcoming third album ‘Every Weekend’?

It’s a big step forward for the development of our sound. We’ve always said we never want to make the same album twice and I think we’ve really evolved on this record yet hopefully still maintained what people like about Hadouken.

It’s big and bold dance music, with melodic vocals and heavy basslines. I think the songwriting is a lot more mature and James’ vocal is stronger than ever, but it’s also got some of the heaviest and rowdiest moments we’ve ever recorded.

I hope it something people can enjoy at home on headphones or throwing themselves round a circle pit at one of our gigs.

May we ask what inspires your material and also how the band go about creating it?

We’ve always been inspired by big British dance acts like Prodigy, Leftfield and Chemical Brothers, as well as what is going in at the moment in underground dance music and EDM, but we’re also fans of a lot of guitar based music like QOTSA, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine etc.

Finally what does the rest of 2013 hold for Hodouken. Have you any live shows/tours lined up?

We have our first shows of the year this weekend in Russia. Then in April we’re touring the UK before heading out to the festivals over the summer. After that, who knows, hopefully more touring in Europe, USA, Japan and Australia!
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Hadouken!’s new album ‘Every Weekend’ is available now via Surface Noise Recordings. Find them at hadouken.com

April UK tour:
April 17 – Norwich Waterfront
April 18 – Leeds The Cockpit
April 19 – Glasgow Arches
April 20 – Newcastle Academy SOLD OUT
April 22 – Sheffield Leadmill
April 23 – Birmingham HMV Institute
April 24 – Manchester Academy 2
April 25 – London Electric Ballroom
April 26 – Brighton Concorde 2
April 27 – Bristol Fleece

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